10 reasons millennials are screwed

There’s an interesting article up at Salon right now. The gist is that boomers and Gen-Xers love to think they understand the Millennial generation. However, there are a few things the two previous generations may have wrong:

“…if there is one claim about the Millennial generation that is truly absurd, it is the notion that they are entitled, spoiled and pampered. Some baby boomers and Gen-X members (especially boomers) insist that Millennials don’t want to pay their dues and expect everything handed to them on a silver platter, but Millennials on the whole are the polar opposite of entitled or spoiled.

Millennials—those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s/early 2000s—in the United States inherited a country that is broken in many respects. From the worst economy in 80 years to a post-9/11 surveillance state to a dysfunctional healthcare system, Millennials have been given a raw deal. And fighting to get the country back on track will be an enormous task for them.

I’m pretty much dead center of Gen-X by age, although when I took the recent “How Millennial Are You?” quiz at Pew Research Center, I came out 74% Millennial – strange given the fact that I don’t have a tattoo or any body piercing (yes, that’s on the quiz).

I do think that our inability to understand one another across age ranges can be a threat to community, and can cause relationship problems, especially within the family system. I am still working hard to try to stay pliable, growing, progressing as a person, and I think this, in part, involves an attempt to develop a better understanding of subsequent generations; not in order to shape them, change them, manipulate them, market to them, or save them, but to love them well.

My kids are on the tail end of the Millennial generation. I have really come to love this cohort. I do think it’s important that we learn to tell the truth about the world we are handing to them. They do face a lot of challenges as a generation, some that we may not even fully grasp as of yet.

Here’s a quick list of the 10 Reasons. What do you think of them? The article itself contains much more detail under each of the ten – I recommend reading it. I’m trying to reserve judgment right now and just listen and learn.

  1. A dying middle class
  2. The financial crash of September 2008
  3. Crushing student loan debt
  4. The broken healthcare system
  5. The post 9/11 surveillance state
  6. Endless war
  7. Painfully low interest rates
  8. Bailouts and the federal deficit
  9. The George W. Bush administration
  10. Unlikely home ownership


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  • scott stone

    Wow! I don’t even know where to begin so I’ll make it short. This is one of the most fallacious articles I’ve read in a long time. First off, the millennials aren’t screwed. They will face a series of challenges, different but no greater than past generations. I’m an eternal optimist and have complete faith in the human spirit. They will be fine.
    To be specific with the obviously biased and completely ignorant author (why didn’t he just shorten the article and say it’s ALL GWB’s fault) let’s address point 7 which is the easiest to hit out of the park. So it was good when banks were paying 10-12% on a CD. Well since a CD is a liability to the bank and a loan is actually an asset, a bank profits on the spread. That is how a bank makes money. So if the CD is 12% it would naturally mean the cost to borrow money would be around 15%.

    I’m old enough to remember when a mortgage was at 15-16%. The housing industry was decimated. Construction all but stopped in the late 70’s to early 80’s. Low interest rates hurt seniors, not millennials. Millennials will have plenty of time to work, save, and invest for their future. Seniors who live on fixed incomes are the ones who rely on higher interest rates.
    Just a quick mention about point 10 that the lending to unqualified applicants began in 1995 when Bill Clinton rewrote the Community Reinvestment Act. His intentions were spot on, unfortunately it didn’t work the way he and later GWB had hoped. I don’t blame either of them for trying.

    I’m in agreement with you that we should all listen and learn but we have to be listening to and learning from those who can provide us with good information so we can assess and make intelligent decisions for our lives and those who will follow us. Alex Henderson is not one of those individuals.